back to article Microsoft squares up to Google with $6bn buy

Microsoft today opened a new front in its war with Google for online advertising dollars, with a $6bn cash offer for the Seattle-based online advertising group aQuantive. This is Microsoft's biggest acquisition to date, and boy, does it want the company: the $66.50 per share offer is an 85 per cent premium on aQuantive's …


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  1. Ron Haworth

    Yes, new Volekits are a coming...

    How wonderful. How hard is it going to be to keep adware spewage out of our PC's now that world's biggest OS vendor is bed with the adware demons themselves? This adds a whole new meaning to the word "rootkit." You can just say your machine has been "volekitted" soon enough!

  2. Ron Haworth

    New Volekits are a coming...

    Adds a whole new meaning to the term "rootkit" when the world's largest OS vendor gets in bed with the Adware demons. Maybe we can just call them "volekits"!

  3. adnim


    there are many linux distros. There is also Firefox and all its wonderful adblocking extentions. Then there are host files.

    Let 'em do what they like, I rarely ever see and advertisement on line, and NEVER more than once.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I, for one, welcome the new Synapse ad-serving network.

    q.v.: the movie "Antitrust"

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't want to see ads?

    What the man above said ... all you need is:

    - Firefox (Linux not necessary, but then we all know you can get Firefox for Windows, eh?)

    - The Adblock extension (or Adblock Plus or whatever it calls itself now)

    - The Flashblocker extension (optional, but handy)

    Both the extensions live on, or your search engine of choice can dig 'em up for you.

    Install Firefox, set it up as your default browser (assuming Windows usage, most Linux distros have it by default now anyway), install the extensions, restart Firefox and enjoy ad-free browsing. Like adnim above, I generally see adverts on line a maximum of once.

  6. Chris


    Call me crazy, but isn't this irresponsible from a MIcrosoft shareholder's perspective? Wanting to "complement" your company by acquiring another company is fine, but paying an 85% premium over that company's current stock price is ridiculous.

  7. Alistair

    Adwars - Adwares - advertising rots brains.

    I'm using XP at work. Corp Standard.

    Linux at home.

    Now -- lessee for me its not so much a big deal - -but I can *bet* that between the issues Vista will precipitate, and this -- if MS goes at this the wrong way even the big corporate entities that use the Desktop and Exchange will ***run*** to linux.

    say someone in the online ad management group suggested to the core os group that all those $49.99 software bundles that remove ads should have trouble identifying a certain set of ads -- and the core os types made the appropriate alterations in a patch -- the patch goes out and a couple hundred thousand household users start getting ads they *know* they shouldn't be seeing. If even ten of them are Corp IT types with clout, you KNOW they're gonna jump all over that. And if even one major corp entity pulled away from MS because of that it would precipitate a landslide.

    So .... Bill being the glorious salesman that he is -- I doubt that we'll see anything like that. However I still wouldn't put it past him to make sure that Vista II ads show up on ***everyones*** ms desktop about a year before they start selling it. Randomly.


    for no apparent reason whatsoever.

    Next --

    wait for it ......

    YES! the RETURN of CLIPPY!!!!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another Microsoft rant

    Not to sound like I'm a complete microsofty, but what the hell is up with all the M$ bashing?

    Yes, there's alternatives: USE THEM. But do not tell me you are completely "AD-free" and perfect, because eventually those ADVERTISERS are going to move to new grounds, companies are going to need to make money SOMEHOW or shutdown.

    If this great El-reg site got rid of ALL the adverts; who's going to keep it running? We cannot always have people writing open source software just for kicks and not starve...

    My 2 cents.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS History

    Maybe you need to brush up on yours?

    Anti-trust. Monopoly leverage. Locked deals. MS has done nothing good for the computer industry and a lot of harm.

  10. Mark McGuire

    Not more!

    MS is already technically a virus using one of the definitions:

    "A computer program with the ability to modify other programs usually to the determent of the computer system."

    They edit themselves to hurt themselves, Vista takes up more system resources at idle than any one spyware or adware. Now they are also a virus and adware, just another reason to start a mob to storm Redmond. Now I need to go find where I put that pitchfork...

  11. Ralph B

    Yahoo! Incompetent!

    > Yahoo!, for example, has as many users as Google - or thereabouts - but is a

    > lot less successful at monetising them.

    Because of incompetence.

    I was a subscriber to a couple of Yahoo Groups, but the way Yahoo reformats the mails from these groups caused my spamfilter to bounce them, causing Yahoo to suspend my group membership. This happened over and over again, until I gave up reactivating my membership.

    Then, in another Yahoo hosted group, they allowed a spammer to repeatedly spam the group, over several months. So, eventually I unsubscribed.

    Google however seem to be able to forward an email without turning it in into spam. And they are able to block spammers pretty effectively.

    So, IMO, Yahoo will lose due to their own incompetence.

    Now. if MS are dumb enough to start serving ads from the OS, then that'll be the final victory of open source software.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    6 billion dollars...

    They can't really expect to make that back...

    Just imagine if that had gone in to there operating system.

    I might not be running this half baked resource hog they call Vista.

    I'd love to like Microsoft.

    I love SQLServer for it's cheap and cheerfulness.

    .NET is a fantastic set of technologies...

    but for every thing they do right they seem to royally f*%k up twice.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    microsoft google live search!

    wtf is this world coming to

  14. Herbys


    > Anti-trust. Monopoly leverage. Locked deals. MS has done nothing good for the computer industry and a lot of harm.

    Antitrust was not something done by Microsoft. it was done by the government (and MSs competitors).

    And I can think of plenty of good things that MS has done for the market. Oc course not because they are good samaritans, just because it made good business sense.

    I'd rather have MS than most of its competitors.

    I'm tired of people saying "MS is bad because they WILL do this" even if MS rarely does what the pundits said they would.

  15. Stephen

    I can dream.

    Perhaps this means Microsoft are going to accept the fact they can't write a decent OS and are going to focus on adware/spam instead.

    Far more fitting use for their talents.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    is a panacea for many things.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not so difficult to understand

    "Not to sound like I'm a complete microsofty, but what the hell is up with all the M$ bashing? Yes, there's alternatives: USE THEM"

    There would be alternatives if several separate companies offered distributions of Windows, but they don't.

    If you want to run the vast majority of PC software, you have to get Windows, and if you want to get Windows you have to buy it from Microsoft.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kingdom of hatred aroused

    Agree with Herbys. Why do people always hate billg? Obviously he can do what I, my dad, my grand dad, my great grand all together don't: making million dollars a week. Can you?

  19. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    MS has done no good for the industry

    Well I don't particularly like MS, but I have to say that such an attitude is not really realistic.

    Remember the days in DOS when, to get to a help screen, you had to know that this app expected Shift-?, this other one wanted F8 and this word processor only reacted on Alt-H ?

    With Microsoft, we got everyone under F1, and I am rather grateful for that. Microsoft put a fair amount of time and effort in evaluating how many sub-levels a menu could have before the options became useless, on how consistency should be implemented in the UI and on how the colors used had varying significations in varying countries.

    Of course, all this good work was in the old days of Windows 3.x and 95. Nowadays MS has forgotten its own documentation on the subjects mentioned.

    But even if your grandpa is senile and has Alzheimer's, you don't go blaming him for it, now do you ?

    MS was useful in its time. Its time has passed and now it should be put to rest.


  20. Ritesh Tendulkar

    +1 kingdom of hatred

    Also, billg owns only 8% of MS. Its stupidity to blame him for whatever MS does. Let the flaming begin...

  21. Robert Ramsay

    The return of Clippy?

    "It looks like you're buying an Operating System!"

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hopeless responses...

    Blimey; "Use Linux!", that's original! That isn't even an argument, it's a religious conviction. "Use Firefox!" wey-hey! See Linux:. Even better, more "run to Linux," another meaningless statement backed up by absolutely no facts, just religious fervour.

    By any reasonable measure, the way anything Microsoft-related always bring in the anti-Microsoft crowd would be regarded as hate-speech if applied to anything else. They aren't even reasonable (or reasoned) arguments, if you have an anti-corporate agenda there are much more valid targets than Microsoft. Microsoft are simply a symptom of feudal capitalism, hardly the cause of it.

    This tirade of anti-Microsoft propaganda is both ill-conceived and intellectually lacking, free software arguments are simply quasi-religious proselytising.

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